Word Count: 8.7k
Summary: Sehun is the guy inside the Captain Hook costume at Disneyland. Yixing is a cute stranger who wants a hug.
Sehun is absolutely not jealous when Jongin gets a summer job playing Aladdin at Disneyland. He's not. Even though Aladdin is maybe his favorite Disney prince ever (he has a monkey sidekick!) and Sehun not-so-secretly thinks himself to be much more handsome than Jongin and therefore far more suited to being a prince. His eyebrows alone should qualify him to be ruler of at least a small country. Like Luxembourg.
"Aladdin isn't even a real prince," Sehun scoffs, scowling at Jongin across the room. "He married into it! Everyone knows he was born a street rat."
Jongin gasps, throwing a hand dramatically across his chest. "If you don't consider His Royal Highness Prince Ali Ababwa a real prince, then I'm not sure we can remain friends."
He storms off into the kitchenette and starts making himself a sandwich. Sehun trails behind at a more sedate pace.
"It took an insult towards a fictional character for you to finally start questioning our friendship?" Sehun asks, sitting himself on a squeaky bar-stool at the counter. "I've been having doubts about our association since puberty. We're basically running on fumes here."
Jongin makes a face at him and continues piling ingredients onto his bread. Sehun starts to smile back, but then he catches sight of Jongin's sandwich. One look at the offensive food item causes his mouth to pull into a horrible frown. Jongin is shit at making sandwiches. Too much mayonnaise, not enough pickles. For the sake of his friend's love life, Sehun hopes this isn't a common theme for Jongin. Sehun can do without mental images of Jongin's copious mayonnaise.
"Just curious," Sehun says slowly, salvaging a pickle from the disaster of Jongin's sandwich, "Are they still hiring princes at Disneyland?"
A job is not currently a necessity for Sehun because his parents pay for school and his portion of the rent. As the baby of his family, Sehun expects this kind of coddling, but Jongin says they only do it because his parents can't stand the idea of living with him even a minute longer. Too much cable TV has made Jongin kind of a bitch (not that Sehun can't be a bitch himself, but he was that way before they started watching reality shows on Bravo). With summer break just starting and Sehun already precariously close to reaching his limit on Real Housewives marathons, a job sounds like a great way to get out of the house and actually do something.
And OK, maybe he's a little jealous. Standing around pretending to be a prince and getting paid for it is basically Sehun's dream job. That, or a boy band member. It's not fair that Jongin got to it first, he thinks.
"I could probably see about getting you an interview," Jongin says, finishing up his sandwich and sliding it onto a plate. The smirk he directs towards Sehun is unpleasant. "If..."
"If...?" Sehun prods, trying to pull another pickle slice out of the sandwich. Jongin smacks his hand away with a little more force than is strictly necessary. Cradling his hand against his chest, Sehun levels a glare at Jongin. His skin is delicate - he may bruise.
"...if you help me research my role as Aladdin."
Sehun glaces askance at Jongin. And his sandwich. "Are we talking a full Disney movie marathon or just the Aladdin trilogy?"
"Just the trilogy, but you have to sing all the female roles in the songs."
Three short children's movies? Sehun was probably going to watch that much today on his own. And the singing won't be a problem at all - he knows all of Jasmine's lines better anyway. That girl is a spitfire.
"You're on," Sehun agrees, snagging the plate with Jongin's sandwich and hightailing it to the living room. The look of surprise and anger on Jongin's face is far more delicious that Jongin's strangely wet sandwich turns out to be. Sehun savors the feeling of victory over Jongin. He's going to be a prince soon and princes can take what they please.
Despite acts of sandwich treachery (and Jongin's protests that rapping Jasmine's lines in A Whole New World didn't count as singing), Jongin bros-up and secures Sehun an interview at Disneyland. Sehun easily passes the dance and performance evaluations thanks to several rounds of dance classes he'd taken with Jongin in a misguided attempt to pick up chicks. After two years, he realized he was studying his very bendy, very male, dance instructor much more than popping and/or locking and had quit dancing from the sheer awkwardness of the situation. Plus the ill-timed boners. Jongin had stood firm and pressed on with the dance classes, though, and ended up standing firm and pressed against their dance instructor. Bastard.
All that stands in the way of Sehun becoming a prince is the sit-down interview and he's sure he's nailing it. The haughty stare and princely gestures Sehun practiced in the mirror all week have been perfected and even in the cold, cheap metal folding chair, Sehun's posture is regal and magnificent. Adjusting a piece of hair along his forehead, he attempts to project aloofness across the dimly-lit interview room. He is a goddamn prince. The interviewer stares at him from the opposite side of the table, her beady eyes screwed up shrewdly as she straightens a stack of papers.
"-Sehun," he corrects, miffed.
The interviewer raises one thin eyebrow, directing a questioning stare at Sehun. "Hoon?"
"No, Sehun. That's my name."
The interviewer bends down and scribbles several furious notes onto Sehun's paperwork. Curious, Sehun tries to lean across to see what she's writing about him. The interviewer covers the paper with her hand, but not before Sehun makes out the words questions authority and possibly using an alias.
"Well, Sehun, we're very visually focused here at the park and someone with your bone structure and stature is pretty much guaranteed a role as a prince."
Sehun smirks. Of course he's got this in the bag. He was born to be a prince. Forget Luxembourg, he could probably rule Belgium if he wanted. He's always had a fine appreciation for waffles.
"But, you keep making this face, this horrible frowning face," the interviewer continues, "It would really scare the children. And the adults. And maybe ghosts, too, if they exist and can see your face."
"Yes! That's the face!" the interviewer exclaims. Like a fried egg thrown at the wall, Sehun's mouth slides into a deeper frown. The interviewer shudders. This is not the glorious recognition Sehun anticipated. People should be bowing down before him, not making fun of him. Why isn't his handsome face working for him? Could it be possible that there is more to life than being good-looking?
"We feel you'll be better positioned in a full-costumed role, one where your face is safely hidden behind layers of foam padding. More specifically, you seem very suited for one of the villains."
"A villain, you say?" Sehun strokes his chin, unconsciously looking more evil than before.
"We've been looking for a new Captain Hook."
Captain Hook is a far cry from a prince, but he's not that bad. Being a Captain, he's actually a kind of distinguished gentleman. And he's still in a position of power. Don't they say it's better to be feared than loved? It's not like he's that useless sack of crap Mr. Smee.
"Would I get to use a sword?" he asks. Swords are cool.
"Yes, part of the Captain Hook costume is a fake plastic sword."
Sehun has always kind of wanted a sword of his own. Jongin probably doesn't get to use a sword.
"I'll do it!"
A few days later, training begins for Sehun and Jongin. While Jongin learns to hold hands with a pretty girl and walk around with his chest bared (he really only needed to learn one of those things), Sehun learns what to do if he gets barfed on and how to properly hydrate so he doesn't die inside his costume. It doesn't seem quite fair.
Sehun takes out some of his aggression on the Peter Pan he's training with, a guy called Kyungsoo who appears to have only two facial expressions: scared and angry. How he managed to get a non-masked role where Sehun failed remains a mystery, but Sehun can't quite manage to hold a grudge against him - he's too tiny, it'd be like hating a gerbil. He seems like a nice enough guy, but Sehun whacks at Kyungsoo with his plastic sword until he feels better.
"Dude, this is not cool!" Kyungsoo says, shielding his face.
"I'm a villain, I'll do what I want!" Sehun snaps. Still, he decides it's best to put down his sword. A darkness lies in the depth of Kyungsoo's large eyes and Sehun doesn't want to see what happens when he gets pushed too far.
Settling into life as Captain Hook comes easily to Sehun. There's a sense of pride he feels when he slips into his stockings and purple pantaloons. Like a drag queen pasting down her eyebrows and pulling on a wig, the process is transformative. Inside the Captain Hook costume, Sehun feels invincible. He's completely unrecognizeable, covered head to toe in thick, heavy fabric (meanwhile Jongin is prancing around carefree and half-naked like he's having a fun day at the beach - how does someone who spends 90% of their free time napping manage to constantly beat Sehun at everything?), so he can act however he wants without worrying what other people think - it's remarkably refreshing. Instead of spoiled-brat-Sehun having to apologize for mouthing-off and rolling his eyes, he can be the menancing, flamboyant Captain, taunting children with his hook and waving his sword threateningly to entertain people he's walking past. It's awesome.
Still, he's happy when the afternoon winds down and he finds himself with only two shifts left for the day. Due to the very real possibility of dying inside his heat-trap of a costume, Sehun spends thirty minute shifts wandering around his designated areas of the park, followed by a thirty minute break where he drinks as much water as possible and re-evaluates his questionable life choices. The thought of going home and sitting in his underwear in front of the air conditioner is one of the only thing that keeps him going on the days when it's so hot, he could bake cookies inside his head-piece.
Finished posing for photos with a family of four, Sehun is about to head to a more crowded area of Fantasyland when a quiet voice calls out to him.
"Excuse me, Captain? Could I have a hug?"
Obligingly, Sehun spins around. Standing behind him is a twenty-something man dressed in a tank top and loose jeans with a pair of Mickey Mouse ears perched cutely on his head. Cute is by far the most accurate way to describe this guy - he's all sweet brown eyes and dark wavy hair just begging to be ruffled. Sehun's hands twitch. He's the kind of cute that makes Sehun glad he has a job that pays him to hug strangers. This must be what true happiness feels like, Sehun thinks, slinging his arm across the man's bare shoulder and pulling him into a cordial half-hug. Most people who want hugs from Captain Hook are actually adults, so Sehun is fairly used to this kind of chummy embrace, but most people Sehun gives hugs to don't curl into him and start crying onto his lace cravat.
"Um... dude, are you ok?" Sehun whispers, hoping no one can hear him breaking character. The man cries even harder. Sehun panics. One time his mom cried in front of him and he puked. People's feelings aren't his strong suit. He struggles to recall his training. Most of it involved appearing amicable to frightened children, but he figures some of it can apply to this situation, too. Trying to look like a friendly, almost six foot-tall hook-wielding pirate, Sehun opens his arms invitingly. The crying stranger burrows deeper into Sehun's chest, his small hands balled into fists against Sehun's coat.
With his training found to be lacking, Sehun's options are almost up. This might be the most apt time to run away. He won't have to deal with this situation that is wildly escalating out of control if he's halfway across the park. Or completely out of the park. Or back at home, hiding in his bedroom.
Hot tears soak through Sehun's coat and he gives himself a mental kick in the ass. Pull yourself together, man. Running away from a crying stranger is a huge dick move and despite what people have said, Sehun is not a monster.
Letting go of his inhibitions, Sehun wraps his arms about the guy, pulling him tightly against his chest. Sehun's natural height (plus the slight heel on his Captain Hook shoes) positions him perfectly to drape himself around the crying stranger. He fits nicely in Sehun's arms and smells sweetly of vanilla lip balm. This whole hugging situation would actually be pretty great, if the guy wasn't sobbing wetly into Sehun's neck. Sehun pats his back with his hooked hand comfortingly. He wonders how long the crying is going to last and if this cute guy maybe wants to get some frozen yogurt together (I do believe he's a fairy, I do, I do!), when he's done having too many feelings.
Before long, the man manages to compose himself, wiping his face and stepping out of Sehun's embrace. There's a part of Sehun that misses the crying - he was really starting to enjoy the hug. It's not every day that Sehun gets to hold a cute guy and feel kind of needed. It was nice. The closest he feels to being needed lately is when Jongin runs out of toilet paper and Sehun has to bring him a fresh roll from the closet.
"Sorry, I'm ok," the no-longer-crying guy says, his voice thin and sweet and matching perfectly to his cute face. "I didn't mean to make a mess." He gestures vaguely at Sehun's tear-stained chest with a small hand, as if too ashamed to even admit that he'd been crying all over a complete stranger in a Captain Hook costume. His eyes are red-rimmed and damp and he's chewing nervously on his (kissable) lower lip. Even Sehun can see he's still completely miserable and only managing to hold in his tears by sheer will.
Part of the job of working at Disneyland is making sure that everyone who comes to the park has a really good time, so it's sort of Sehun's job to make this guy cheer up. It has nothing to do with any feelings, romantic or otherwise, he may or may not be having about a stranger who makes him feel just a little protective. If this adorable guy doesn't start thinking happy thoughts, then the entire Disney corporation will have failed and Sehun doesn't want that on his head. He knows what he must do. Summoning all the possible knowledge he could have retained from two years of classes spent trying to outshine Jongin while hiding incredibly awkward erections under thin sweatpants, Sehun begins to dance.
Captain Hook ain't never had swagger like this. He rolls his shoulders, thrusts his hips, gliding forwards and backwards smoothly and powerfully. Everyone in a fifty foot radius stares as Sehun drops into a crouch and pops his booty. He has never been more glad for the anonymity of his costume. Tomorrow, there are going to be a hundred videos on YouTube of Hip Thrust Captain Hook, but none of that matters when the cute stranger starts to laugh, mouth falling open as he flashes perfect white teeth and a pair of deep dimples in his cheeks.
Sehun is floored by his smile. He has no idea how anyone ever made this guy cry because his smile looks like when two different baby animals cuddle together, like a pygmy hippopotamus snuggling with a puppy. It's fucking precious. With a final body roll, Sehun ends his dance. There is a smattering of light applause and Sehun feels vaguely gratified. Not bad for someone who popped a boner every time his dance instructor's shirt rose up a few inches and exposed his stomach. A few people take pictures while Sehun contemplates his next move. He could leave now - the guy is a smiling, happy ball of sunshine, Disney's reputation is safe. But if he leaves, he's never going to have frozen yogurt with the cute stranger who wanted to hug him. He'll never find out what made him so upset. He'll never see that amazing, heart-stopping, someone-call-the-doctor dimpled smile again.
Leaving is not an option.
Through his giant foam head-piece, Sehun attempts to find the best possible route for him and his hopefully soon-to-be friend to escape the crowds. Second path to the right and straight on is a peaceful little grotto that is often very quiet and even better, Cinderella is making her way down the main path, smiling and waving and interacting with the crowds, providing a very good distraction. Perfect. With a tilt of his head towards the stranger, Sehun indicates the side-path and walks ahead, hoping the guy is following behind. Some children stand in Sehun's way, trying to get a better look at Cinderella, but a few prods with the plastic sword clears the path. When it is a bit more isolated, Sehun peeks behind, spotting the cute guy a few steps away, following obediently. Confidence boosted, he stands up a little straighter, leading him past a small wishing well and to a set of steps to sit down on. The stranger takes a seat next to him, looking at him shyly and holding his hand out towards Sehun.
"Hi, I'm Yixing. I don't normally cry like that. Just so you know."
Sehun mouths the name, testing the way it feels in his mouth. Yixing. He sends a silent thanks to his orthodontist for finally letting him stop wearing retainers last year, so he won't lisp the second syllable. He offers his hook to Yixing, who takes it and shakes it with a small smile, Mickey Mouse ears bouncing with the movement.
"Hi, Yixing," he says quietly, trying to avoid anyone over-hearing, "Is everything ok?"
"Yeah," Yixing says, sounding a bit embarrassed again. He pats his cheeks with the backs of his hands, drying any remaining tear stains. "I didn't mean to cry all over you. My boyfriend and I broke up a few weeks ago and I guess it just hit me all the sudden? I really needed a good hug."
"....so you came to Disneyland?" Sehun asks skeptically, trying not to make a big deal about the fact that Yixing had called what had transpired between them a good hug. Sadness is an emotion Sehun tries to bury deep inside himself, like guilt or the memory of the time in fourth grade when he farted in class and everyone called him Smelly-hun for months. Why would anyone want to be in public while they were heartbroken? When he broke up with his one and only boyfriend, he spent three weeks alone in his bedroom staring at the ceiling, contemplating life and only eating sandwiches that Jongin would leave outside his door. He gained six pounds during his mourning period, no doubt due to all the mayonnaise. Jongin is really shit at making sandwiches.
"I always come to Disneyland after a break-up," Yixing says with a dreamy look on his face. "It's the happiest place on earth and there's something so comforting about hugs from all your favorite characters from childhood."
"And Captain Hook is a big favorite of yours?" Sehun asks. Captain Hook is one of the last people he'd want a hug from, right after Jongin in his Aladdin costume and also Jongin not in his Aladdin costume.
Yixing rubs the back of his neck nervously.
"Um, this is kind of weird to say, but this Captain Hook costume looks exactly like my ex. Tall, big chin, angry eyebrows and a taste for electic clothing. It's eerily similar."
His ex-boyfriend sounds terrifying. Sehun begins rethinking having a crush on Yixing. What if that Captain Hook guy comes back and Sehun has to defend Yixing's honor? Sehun is all bones and sass - he's a lover, not a fighter.
But it's just not OK that Yixing's ugly ex made him cry. Someone with a sweet face like Yixing should never, never worry about grown-up things. If Yixing was his boyfriend, Sehun would do everything to see his happy dimpled smile all the time. He'd dance a hundred inappropriate hip-thrusty dances. Not that Sehun has any chance with Yixing. Besides the fact that he's stuck in a Captain Hook costume and unable to show his face or body (a huge disadvantage for someone who mostly gets by on his good looks), Sehun has a hard time getting close to people and cute guys tend to find him "bitchy" or "emotionally-unavailable". Sehun swears he's a nice guy, just hidden under layers of eye-rolling and frowning. And now he knows, he gives good hugs.
"I'm required by Disney law to take my break soon, are you going to be ok?" Sehun asks, for the first time reluctant to stop working - not in the interest of being assaulted by more snot-nosed brats who think it is fun to kick Captain Hook in the shins or cry when he stands near them, but because he wants more time to get to know Yixing. Sehun pushes his shoulders out, trying not to let his disappointment show. The tinny, automated voice of Snow White sings I'm wishing, I'm wishing in the background while Sehun waits for Yixing's answer.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Yixing responds with a hearty nod and a small smile. "Momentary weakness. I'm better off without him anyway. He was so fussy and he said I didn't take things seriously enough and he hated the way I dressed."
Yixing's ex-boyfriend must be a godless heathen, because Yixing's clothes show off his beautiful collarbones and the exposed skin is positively divine. They're half the reason Sehun throws caution to the wind and decides to break even more of the park's rules for costumed characters than he's already managed so far.
"I'll be back in half an hour, do you want to meet up again? I mean if you're not busy..." Sehun asks, mindful of the fact that he's supposed to be working and not trying to score a date. He's pretty sure his supervisor would understand the situation if he had seen Yixing crying. Even the strongest man couldn't resist those pitiful puppy-dog eyes.
"I'd love to meet back up." Yixing smiles his heart-breaking, dimpled smile again and Sehun feels his face heating up. He struggles to keep his composure in front of Yixing. It's just a smile, for goodness sakes, he's going to be OK. He's definitely not going to trip and fall or swoon or anything embarrassing. Sehun can be cool. Calm. Collected. Or at least he can pretend to be. He just has to get the the break room and then he can deal with having feelings.
"Around here in thirty minutes?" he asks, standing back up and indicating towards the wishing well in front of them. Yixing nods.
"Wouldn't miss it for the world. Not even It's a Small World."
Jongin is already in the break room when Sehun arrives, napping in a messy sprawl in a chair by the air conditioner with a bottle of water tucked under one arm. Across the room, Kyungsoo sits by himself primly, the perfect picture of a model Disneyland employee, reading quietly and still fully-clad in his Peter Pan costume. Even the hat. Sehun has never been so jealous of a man in tights before. His own costume makes him feel like he's being roasted alive. Sweat dripping down his back, he strips off as much of the offending costume as he can and makes his way over to Jongin. Plopping down beside him, Sehun snags Jongin's water bottle from under his arm, nudging him awake in the process. Jongin blinks at him sleepily, watching as Sehun gulps down the remaining water.
"Hot out there today," Sehun says conversationally. His fidgety hands tear at the label on the bottle. He wonders what Yixing is doing now, if he's having fun and if Sehun will be able to find him again after his break ends.
"No kidding," Jongin replies, stretching back in the chair and letting the air conditioner blow on his bare feet. With a huffy growl, Sehun smacks his feet away. The last thing he wants is to be breathing in Jongin's foot sweat. He smells like off-brand Cheetos and Usher For Men cologne.
"Put on some socks, you filthy animal!"
Jongin stretches out further, a smirk creeping across his face as he wiggles his toes in spite.
"This filthy animal got propositioned six times today. Some of them were pretty hot."
The smug look on Jongin's face is infuriating and Sehun feels one hundred percent justified in wanting to ruin it. Yixing is way hotter than any desperate skank who tried to hit on Jongin. The need to brag is overwhelming, completely prevailing over any sense of decorum or reason that Sehun has.
"Oh yeah? Pretty hot? I just met the most bangable man in the whole park and he agreed to meet back up with me after my break."
Jongin sits up immediately.
"You were talking while in your costume? Dude, you know that's against the rules."
"Pssssh," Sehun says, tossing the empty water bottle towards the recycling bin and missing, "I've got Junmyeon as supervisor today, you know what a pushover he is. If he busts me, I'm just gonna start fake crying."
"Still, it's not like you to risk getting in trouble for someone else," Jongin says with a calculating look in his eyes.
"Yeah but he's the total package: cute face and great arms. And he wanted, like, a minute-long hug."
Jongin perks up, a sly look in his dark eyes.
"Wow, he sounds like my kind of man. Where might someone find this fine specimen? Anywhere near Adventureland?"
"You stay away from him, Jongin! I've got dibs!" Sehun warns. Dibs count, even if Yixing is way out of his league, Sehun still has the option to try. "Besides, he doesn't need someone like you. And he's perfectly safe in Fantasyland, where Aladdin is not scheduled to make any appearances today. So ha."
He glares at Jongin challengingly. Jongin scowls at the clock, stuffing his bare feet back into his costume's curly-toed shoes.
"I have to get back to work, but don't think your little cutie is safe in Fantasyland. You're not the only one who can emotionally manipulate Junmyeon!" he says ominously. He strides out the door, letting it slam behind him.
Sehun eyes the clock warily. Every minute left of his break is torture. He can only imagine Jongin finding Yixing and taking advantage of his weakened emotional state and penchant for hugging costumed Disneyland characters. Just because Sehun has a snowball's chance in hell with a cutie like Yixing doesn't mean that he wants to just give him up to Jongin, either. Yixing deserves a nice guy, someone who will treat him right and make him smile all the time, like Ryan Gosling. Or Hugh Jackman. He's not sure what Yixing's type is, but he has a feeling it's handsome movie stars with six-packs.
Sehun sighs, wishing he had spent more time at the gym, or at least had managed to keep Jongin away from it more often.
When his break ends, Sehun practically runs back to his meeting spot with Yixing, plastic sword banging on his hip with every step. He almost sighs in relief when he sees Yixing sitting on the stairs, haloed in sunshine and drinking a soda through a straw. Yixing catches sight of him and waves cutely. Peering around suspiciously, Sehun approaches the bench. Jongin and his abs could be anywhere.
"You didn't hug a sleazy-looking Aladdin while I was gone, did you?" Sehun asks, peeking into the bushes as best as he can through his costume's eyeholes. Yixing looks up at him, a confused smile on his face.
"Good. Stay away from Aladdin," Sehun orders, feeling relieved, "Stay away from the whole Aladdin crew, they're all trouble."
"Even the monkey?"
"Especially the monkey."
Yixing looks a little taken aback, but he nods anyway. The fact that he so blindly agrees to carry out the commands of an almost total stranger only makes Sehun want to protect him more. Yixing seems like the type of guy who gets groped and then worries if the groper has low self-esteem or is having a bad day. The possibility of Yixing getting groped seems highly likely. Sehun double-checks the bushes for Jongin.
"Were you OK while I was gone? No more crying?"
Yixing reaches his free hand out to knock Sehun on the arm, his lips forming a petulant moue. The pout is possibly even more precious than his smile. Sehun is fast approaching his cap on cute - if Yixing subjects him to any more of these vicious attacks of adorable, he might be forced into doing something reckless.
"That's really not a habit of mine, it was just a one-time thing!"
"Good. Don't cry anymore," Sehun says, "Your ex sounds like an asshole. And if this ugly Captain Hook mask reminds you of him, that's even worse. You're such a babe, you could get it anywhere."
Yixing tilts his head up at Sehun, a devilish smile on his face.
"How about the nice guy under the Captain Hook mask? Do you think I have a chance with him?"
It takes a moment for the words to sink in. Sehun points to himself, shocked.
Yixing's got that killer smile cranked up to full-watt again, his teeth blinding-white in the sunlight and Sehun melts like a bright pink crayon left on the heater vent, mushy and soft. It's almost unbelievable that the cutest guy at Disneyland expressed interest in him. This is far from the kind of situation he normally finds himself in. Sehun shakes his shoulders in a giddy, nervous reaction, hoping like hell that this isn't some kind of hidden camera prank. He feels like a contestant on The Bachelor and Yixing just gave him his rose.
That's possibly the most mortifying thought he's ever had.
"All day, every day," Sehun confirms, trying not to sound too pathetic. Then again, he's talking to a guy who comes to Disneyland to take advantage of costumed characters for free hugs, so he's not too worried about being the saddest person in the conversation. Yixing grins at him, open and free.
"I'm dying to see what's under that mask."
"Mostly foam padding and sweat," Sehun answers honestly.
"I meant your face," Yixing says. He laughs at Sehun, a trail of funny little ha-ha-ha's escaping his mouth and Sehun feels himself blushing bright red. He tries telling himself that it is just because the Captain Hook costume is too damn hot. It is not very convincing, even to himself.
Before he can embarrass himself any further, a loud shout cuts into the quiet around them.
Sehun jumps off the steps, sending a silent prayer to every diety he's ever heard of it in his entire life that the blur in the distance running towards him at full speed is not Jongin in his Aladdin costume, muscled pectorals on full display. Things are miraculously going places with Yixing and he doesn't need Jongin's exposed torso messing everything up. As Jongin (of-fucking-course it's Jongin) finally reaches the wishing well, Sehun sees that the situation is actually much worse than he feared.
Jongin has somehow squeezed himself into a very snug Peter Pan costume. The green tights are stretched to the limit and look fit to burst at any moment. A costume dagger in his hand is held out threateningly towards Sehun and Jongin is grinning like the cat that caught the canary. It's the kind of grin that makes Sehun want to punch him in the face. Hard. He settles for shoving Jongin against a low railing, knocking his jauntily perched hat askew.
"What the hell are you doing?" he whispers harshly, "You look ridiculous!"
Failing to keep his eyes trained above the lower regions of Jongin's borrowed costume, Sehun is horrified at the knowledge that he can now probably describe Jongin's kosher dill in detail.
"Please, you wish you had a body like this." A smooth body roll accompanies his words.
How does he know, Sehun thinks, forlorn. He'd do anything for Jongin's useless-but-sexy toned muscles - anything but physically exert himself. Sehun's thin, waifish body is not made for lugging dumbbells or tossing medicine balls or whatever it is they do at the gym (Sehun's workout plan is drinking Skinnygirl cocktails). Jongin smirks at Sehun.
"Get ready to give up that cute guy to me. No one can resist my thighs in skin-hugging tights!"
Sehun shifts his body in front of Jongin, trying to block Yixing's view of Jongin's lycra-clad legs and also keep him at a safe, ungrope-able distance. He hisses at Jongin angrily, "Are you kidding me right now?"
The point of Jongin's dagger pokes Sehun in the chest. Raising his voice theatrically (Jongin has really shown a taste for the dramatic since they started working at Disneyland - he's definitely found his true calling as a performer and Sehun will tell him so, as soon as he stops being such a huge asshole), Jongin catches the attention of several people in the surrounding area.
"Draw your weapon, Captain Hook!"
A predatory gleam glows in Jongin's eyes as he peers around Sehun, getting a good look at Yixing, who raises his hand and waves at him innocently. Sehun sighs. Goddammit, Yixing. Leaning closer to Sehun, Jongin whispers in his ear quietly.
"He's as cute as you said. I can't wait to taste those pouty lips."
Sehun feels his possessiveness boiling over. Not this time, Jongin! Yixing's lips are his! Or they will be, when he gets around to asking Yixing out and they go on two or three sweet, innocent dates until finally the moment is right and Yixing has just a bit of frozen yogurt stuck on the edge of his lip and Sehun wipes it off with the tip of his thumb and licks it clean and then leans in and kisses Yixing while murmuring something cool and sexy, like mmm, vanilla. Jongin may be hotter than him and more popular than him, but Sehun will be damned if his best friend beats him again. Jongin isn't getting anywhere near Yixing's mouth! Sehun whips out his sword.
"It's on, Pan."
So begins the least epic sword fight of all time. Sehun tries his best, but he has no clue what to do with a sword. Prior to this moment, he's mostly been using the sword to lean on handsomely - an actual sword fight is much more difficult than he thought. He strives to whack the sword roughly against Jongin's almost-naked thighs while keeping a giggling Yixing out of harm's way. Jongin is faring even worse. The short dagger from the Peter Pan costume can barely deflect half of Sehun's wild, uncoordinated swings, but Jongin's natural agility and unimpaired vision are keeping him from outright losing. Sehun can barely see Jongin through his cumbersome mask. Clubbing Kyungsoo with the plastic sword during training was so much easier than this. A horrible thought strikes Sehun and he pauses mid-swing. If Jongin is in the Peter Pan costume, then where was Kyungsoo?
Momentarily forgetting that most of his own interactions with Kyungsoo involved hitting him with a plastic sword or ignoring him in the break room, Sehun presses forward on Jongin angrily, chasing him around the wishing well. In a scene straight out of a dance movie, Jongin avoids Sehun's furious slashing with a showy grand jeté. It's ostentatious, needlessly exhibitionistic and really fucking cool. The thought that Jongin could really have a career as a performer only makes Sehun more irate.
"What'd you do to Kyungsoo, you bastard?!"
Jongin raises an eyebrow at him.
"I'm here to steal your man, I didn't touch that little midget!"
An angry cry interrupts their fight. Sehun looks around for the source of the outcry, finding a very disgruntled looking Mr. Smee on the other side of the wishing well.
"Who are you calling a midget?!" His voice is muffled by the costume, but it is definitely Kyungsoo inside, arms pushed crossly on his hips as he waddles closer to the action. Sehun jumps in to defend him.
"Yeah, Jongin, god! They prefer to be called little people!"
Kyungsoo whips around to look at Sehun. "What? No, I'm not a little person!"
"Oh shit, dude, sorry! I didn't know children could work at Disneyland," Sehun says, apologetic.
"No! I'm not-," Kyungsoo sighs, shoulders sagging. "Nevermind about that. What does he mean he's here to steal your man? Jongin told Junmyeon his parents died in a traumatic accident while he was young and reading Peter Pan was the only thing that got him through the cold, sleepless nights. Junmyeon practically begged him to put on my Peter Pan costume for the rest of his shift."
Sehun makes a sound of disbelief. He's never even seen Jongin read anything that didn't have pictures and the closest thing he's ever had to a trauma in his life is when the barber shaved off his sideburns once. "Jongin's parents live in Long Beach!"
"He's stretching out my tights for a lie?!" Kyungsoo rounds on Jongin, pushing him up against the railing menacingly. Jongin drops his dagger in shock, arms coming up in defense.
"Get out of here, Hook. You leave Peter Pan to me."
Kyungsoo is small, but his voice is deadly and Sehun doesn't waste time grabbing Yixing's arm and tugging him away. Jongin brought this on himself, he's on his own now. Fleeing the scene amidst a handful of shocked spectators, Sehun tries to tuck his sword back into his belt. He hopes he never has to use the weapon again. He was wrong, swords are not cool. A few kids point and stare as Sehun drags Yixing down the street with his non-hooked hand.
"I'm being kidnapped by pirates!" Yixing stage-whispers to some of the more interested children. They gasp in delight and Yixing smiles back at them. Sehun can't even look because that dimple is doing stuff to him. Feelings stuff. It's best not to think about it. Trying to put as much distance as possible between them and Jongin, he walks for several minutes and leads Yixing to a quiet dock with lots of empty seating and several ducks floating in the water below. Yixing takes a seat in one of the chairs and Sehun regretfully lets go of his wrist.
"Care to explain what that was all about?" Yixing asks, poking Sehun in the thigh.
Sehun wonders if there is an easy way to explain that Jongin is his best friend and life-long rival and that dressing up as Peter Pan and holding Sehun at (fake) knife-point is just the latest step in a series of one-upmanship that they have been carrying on since the day they met. Frenemies doesn't quite convey the complexities of their relationship.
"That was my stupid roommate Jongin, trying to ruin everything for me, as per usual. I told him about you on our break and he vowed to take you from me."
"Oh? I was yours to take, hmmm?" Yixing says, drawing out the sound. There's a conceited little smirk on his face and Sehun isn't sure if it makes him want to punch Yixing or kiss him. He kind of wants to do both. Instead he settles for nodding, a little unsure until Yixing's face slides into a happy, carefree smile. Sehun basks in the glow of it. For a moment, everything seems perfect: the angelic expression on Yixing's face, the fading sunlight reflecting off the water and the delicious scent of $10 turkey legs from the nearby snack stand. Sehun could spend the rest of the day here with Yixing, feeding bits of bread to the duck and making him laugh, if he wasn't suddenly grabbed about the elbow and jerked away roughly. To his horror, Sehun finds his supervisor, Junmyeon, clinging to his arm, fingers dug into the soft spot below his elbow like talons.
"Sorry to interrupt, but Captain Hook is needed back on the Jolly Roger immediately. There's talk of a mutiny." Junmyeon squeezes Sehun's arm hard, his voice angry and disapproving. "Some say this is your last day as the Captain."
Well, fuck. There goes his summer job. What's worse, Junmyeon is violently tugging him away from Yixing. Sehun hasn't even made his move yet! He wants to object, but is cowed by the knowledge that yes, he is absolutely in the wrong and should have been working all day instead of trying to woo a cute guy he met (no matter how sweet and fascinating and charming the cute guy ended up being). As Junmyeon drags him away, lecturing Sehun about irresponsibility and lack of commitment to his job, Sehun turns to get one last look at Yixing. He's completely dismayed to find him crying. Again.
"Wait!" Yixing wails, jogging to catch up with them as fat tears drip down his face, "It's all my fault!"
Yixing really turns on the waterworks, crying a river and grabbing onto Junmyeon's arm. More than one stranger turns to gaze at the spectacle he's making. Junmyeon yelps in panic, trying to back away from Yixing's tearful face.
"The Captain was just trying to cheer me up! Please, please don't punish him for my mistakes."
Yixing looks infinitely younger while crying, like a lost little boy. A sob bubbles up from his throat, his wide pleading eyes focused on Junmyeon, who looks incredibly uncomfortable with the whole situation. Junmyeon backs away, trying in vain to tug his sleeve from Yixing's firm, determined grip. Yixing's lower lip quivers as he latches on more tightly. If Junmyeon pulls back any further, he's going to tear his shirt in half.
"Please," Yixing begs, more tears running down his face. Junmyeon looks between Yixing and the slowly gathering crowd of on-lookers.
"OK, OK," Junmyeon says, yanking his arm from Yixing's grip, "He won't be in any trouble, I promise. He was helping a guest, after all."
Yixing looks at him with eyes full of hope.
"And Peter Pan and Mr. Smee? They won't be in any trouble either, right? They were just helping me, too."
Yixing sniffles. Junmyeon lets out a long-suffering sigh.
"Yes, yes, no one will get fired today." After a beat, Junmyeon continues, his face lighting up. "I guess this one time, I can let them all off the hook."
Sehun looks down at his hooked hand. Dear god, was that a pun? Is Junmyeon really that lame? Sehun shakes his head at him curtly. It is never the right time for dad jokes. Never. Junmyeon slumps, defeated.
"I'm willing to forget about this whole incident, but you," Junmyeon says, stabbing Sehun in the chest with a boney finger, "Had better stay out of trouble from now on. I don't want to hear any more about a misbehaving Captain Hook."
Sehun nods, hoping that somehow, the Hip Thrust Captain Hook videos won't go viral. Unless it can launch some sort of pop-star career for him, then fuck this sweaty job. He can't believe they're actually getting away with this, even Jongin and Kyungsoo. Yixing is a fucking treasure. Junmyeon makes a pained expression.
"Ok, I'm going to go run damage control. Mr. Hook, you better go and clock out. Paid hours are for people who actually work."
Junmyeon leaves in a hurry, adjusting the sleeve of his uniform and scattering the small crowd near the dock. Sehun turns back to Yixing's puffy, tear-stained face and opens his arms up wide.
"Get over here, crybaby."
Yixing buries himself in Sehun's arms. This time, Sehun doesn't hesitate to hold him, wrapping his arms tightly around Yixing's shoulders and running a hand up and down his shaking back. It takes a few moments for Sehun to realize that Yixing's back is not shaking from sobs, but from laughing. He pulls back from Yixing, holding him by the biceps as he takes him the sight of Yixing's joyful face, his dimple pressed deep into his cheek and eyes screwed up tightly.
"What the hell? Were you... were you fake crying?" Disbelief pitches Sehun's voice higher than he feels comfortable. He eyes Yixing warily. Yixing has the audacity to wink at him.
"I can turn these on like a light switch," Yixing says, eyes filling up with tears again. "You'd be surprised at the trouble an adult man can get out of when he starts straight up crying. I've never had to pay a speeding ticket in my life."
Sehun laughs, sliding the thumb of his glove across Yixing's cheek, clearing away the crocodile tears. Yixing is a devil in disguise.
"So you lied to my boss to save my job?"
"Well, earlier you did a Magic Mike dance routine while wearing a pirate costume to cheer me up, I figured I kinda owed you one."
The grin Yixing gives him is confident and sexy and inspires a kind of confidence in him, as well. This afternoon with Yixing has been weird and fun and he doesn't want it to end.
"Yixing, I know this has been a strange day and maybe you think I'm crazy, but after I go clock out, I would really like to spend the evening with you. Like, without my costume."
"Are you kidding me?" Yixing says, eyes widened in disbelief. Sehun feels his heart sinking. Oh god, why did he put himself out there like that? Why would Yixing have any interest in a guy in a Captain Hook costume? This is the most embarrassing day of Sehun's life. Disneyland is not the place where dreams come true, it is where dreams go to die!
While Sehun shame spirals, Yixing continues speaking. "This has been the most awesome day at Disneyland ever, I'd be crazy not to want it to continue."
Sehun whips his head back around to stare at him. "Seriously?"
Yixing pushes him lightly on the shoulder, the corners of his mouth tilted upwards in an amused expression. "Go clock out, Captain. I'll be here waiting for you."
Sehun is so happy, he practically flies away.
Back in the break room, Sehun switches into his street clothes, wiping off his face and the back of his neck with a towel. He dunks his head under a faucet and tries to wash a day's worth of sweat out his armpits as best he can. Pushing his hair off his face and tucking it under a backwards snapback, he looks at himself in the mirror. With his costume off, he feels more vulnerable, unsure of himself. When he's dressed as Captain Hook, he can hug strangers and have a sword fight with Jongin and boldly ask cute boys to meet him after work, but now he's just Sehun, skinny and a little awkward, with no control of his facial muscles. He doesn't have a mustached face mask to hide behind anymore.
He takes a deep breath. Surely he's much more handsome than Yixing's Captain Hook-esque ex-boyfriend? That guy sounded like a neanderthal. But Yixing seems like the kind of guy who doesn't really judge people by their looks. He probably says things like "Ugly guys don't exist" or some crap like that. Sehun's good looks are all he has going for him! He lets out the breath he was holding. Yixing liked him in the Captain Hook costume, he'll just have to hope he likes him just as much without it. Turning away from his reflection, Sehun heads back out into the park.
When Sehun returns to the dock, Yixing is still waiting there, leaning over the railing and watching the ducks. After taking a deep breath to steel his nerves, Sehun approaches slowly and wipes his hands nervously on his jeans before reaching over and tapping Yixing on the shoulder, startling him. Yixing swivels around to look at Sehun. He's holding a corndog in each hand and has an uncertain look on his face.
"Captain Hook?" he asks, eyes searching.
"Uh, I normally go by Sehun when I'm not in costume," Sehun says, adjusting his hat over his hair and hoping like hell that he doesn't look nearly as awkward as he feels. He sticks his hand out for Yixing to shake. Yixing passes him a corndog.
"Sehun. Nice to meet you," he says with a dimpled smile, "I thought you might be hungry."
Sehun stuffs the corndog in his mouth before he has to think about why his heart beats so fast when Yixing smiles. Just be cool, Sehun. Just be cool.
"Thanks," he says, around a mouthful, "Starving."
Yixing reaches up and taps him on the side of the face with his free hand.
"Are you OK? You're frowning," he says, causing Sehun's frown to deepen, "Is this what you looked like under your costume all day? It's so...cute."
"That's not what the Disney people said when I applied to be a prince," Sehun admits, his face heating up at the mortifying memory.
"You wanted to be a prince?"
"Yeah, but the hiring people said my face wasn't fit to be seen."
Yixing's bursts out laughing, squeezing his eyes shut and throwing his head back.
"That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," he says between guffaws, "Your face is gorgeous."
Sehun preens at the compliment, feeling his insecurities skitter away. He knew his mom couldn't have been wrong all these years!
Yixing continues, "And you fought Peter Pan in a duel over me. That's the most chivalrous thing anyone has done for me. As far as I'm concerned, you're a prince."
Yixing nods and bites into his corndog, a dot of mustard sticking onto the edge of his bottom lip. If he counts every time he and Yixing met and then parted as one date, then this is exactly like Sehun's dream kiss scenario, except better, because Yixing has a piece of hot meat in his mouth and just called Sehun a prince.
"Yixing?" he asks, sliding his hand along Yixing's jawline and tilting his face up towards him, "This is a date, right?"
Yixing swallows, his eyes sparkling. "I bought you a seven dollar corndog, that sounds like a date to me."
"OK, good," Sehun says leaning in and pressing his lips to Yixing's. Their first kiss tastes like processed meat and Yixing's girly lip balm. Sehun sweeps his tongue out to lick the dot of mustard off Yixing's bottom lip before pulling away.
"Mmm, vanilla," he says quietly.
Yixing cocks an eyebrow at him. "What?"
"Nothing," Sehun says, running his fingers through Yixing's hair. Kissing someone he just met today makes him feel very European - he knew he was destined to be the monarch of at least a Benelux country. He pulls off Yixing's Mickey Mouse ears and puts them on his own head in lieu of a crown. It feels very right.
Sehun looks down at Yixing. He's grinning like an idiot, eyes lit up like sunshine, lips pink and wet. He looks absolutely perfect and worth every weird, humiliating situation Sehun had to go through today. Sehun pulls him close, feeling Yixing warm and solid in his arms. Sehun doesn't know if this thing with Yixing is going to last for a day or a week or a lifetime, but at least for today, Sehun is Yixing's Prince Charming and their story has a happy ending.
asleep & dreaming